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Daytona Construction Well Underway, Piece of Track With Every Daytona 500 Ticket

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On: Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 11:25AM | By: John Welch

Daytona Construction Well Underway, Piece of Track With Every Daytona 500 Ticket

As soon as the last Sprint Cup car disappeared into the Daytona International Speedway garage on the evening of July 3rd, the tarmac surrounding the 2.5 mile landmark began to tremble. It knew its time as the racing surface in Daytona was up. On July 5th, the tarmac realized its worst fears. Crews began disassembling the catch fence surrounding the track, trucking in construction equipment, and making the final preparations for the new track surface.

Now we crawl into August (I say 'crawl' because that is the fastest we can travel when outdoors in Florida; it’s very hot and an elevated heart rate will cause one's head to explode) and The AutoShopperBlog has a few DaytonaConstruction updates for you. Brothers operating cranes, tarmac for free, and month-one progress inside the post . . .

With a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011, the Speedway project should be complete in time for the Grand-Am Series Rolex 24, our second favorite race of the year and the opening race for the 2011 SpeedWeeks. Culminating in the 53rd Daytona 500, SpeedWeeks is the spiritual start to the American Auto Racing Season. Can I petition Webster's to get the right to add capital letters whenever the hell I feel like it? Putting it on my "to do" list. ..

Anyway, first bit of juicy, gooey rumor—You get a piece of the old racing surface with every Daytona 500 ticket purchased. Uhm, also, this isn't a rumor, it's completely true. Pieces of the track are being sold separately, as well as a small piece included with every ticket purchased before August 8th, for the 53rd running of the Great American Race.

Darrell and Michael Waltrip are the only set of brothers to both win the Daytona 500. No Alisons, no Bakers, no collection of brothers other than the Waltrips have both captured the title to the 500. Because of this family feat, the Waltrips were given the honor of officially tearing the first chunk out of NASCAR Turn One. The event served as the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Speedway. Immediately afterward Michael Waltrip boarded a flight for Belgium, hopped into one of the AF CorseFerrari F430 GTEs, a car he had driven only once, needless to say raced. Along with MWR co-owner Rob Kauffmann, Waltrip managed a third place finish in the 2010 Spa 24 Hours. Everyone who has ever labeled the younger Waltrip as a "talentless marketing shill" is now saddling up to a plate of crow the size of Texas. To repeat a statement I made before the Brumos Porsche 250: NASCAR may be sort of boring sometimes, but it truly features the best drivers in the world.

By now, August 5th, a month after the first catch fence came down, the construction has made its way to the tri-oval. Here are some important stats regarding the progress of the resurfacing provided by Daytona500.com:

The second layer of asphalt on the outer pass on the Superstretch has been paved and approximately 1,400 tons of asphalt has been put down on the Superstretch.

On the Frontstretch, the second layer of asphalt has been paved on the outside pass with the drainage layer on the inside pass.

As of Thursday, approximately 2,200 tons of asphalt has been put down on the Frontstretch.

Asphalt has been removed from Turn 3 and the grading continues.

All safety fence, SAFER barrier and lights have been removed from the high banks.

The filling of dirt behind the walls on upper rim road in Turns 1 and 2 is complete.

If you'd like a piece of the old track, you had better act fast. Daytona International Speedway is currently offering race fans the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the 2011 Daytona 500 as well as attain a piece of asphalt, but the promotion ends at midnight, August 8th. Tickets can be purchased here.

CAUTION! Michael's post-qualifying mouth is NOT safe for work . . . just so you know . . .

Even more awesomness from DIS: Live Webcam of the reconstruction!

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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